[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 141 ]
Hunting and Trapping; Furbearers
[50 Pa.B. 1384]
[Saturday, March 7, 2020]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) proposed at its January 25, 2020, meeting to amend § 141.62 (relating to beaver and otter trapping) to increase the number of authorized body gripping traps from 10 to 20 in any Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) where beaver bag limits are 60 per season.
This proposed rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for this proposed rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
This proposed rulemaking was made public at the January 25, 2020, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent until April 1, 2020, to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.
1. Purpose and Authority
The Commission has recently observed a notable increase in beaver populations and beaver-related complaints in WMUs 1A and 1B. As a result, the Commission is seeking to increase harvest success rates in these WMUs in an effort to better control the beaver population and resulting beaver-human conflicts. The Commission has previously proposed an amendment to § 139.4 (relating to seasons and bag limits for the license year) to increase the beaver bag limit in these WMUs from 40 to 60. The Commission is also proposing to amend § 141.62 to increase the number of authorized body gripping traps to 20 in any WMU where beaver bag limits are 60 per season. Beaver trappers will still be limited to using no more than five traps or snares, no more than two of which may be body-gripping traps, in any WMU with an open otter trapping season during periods when the open beaver trapping season overlaps by calendar date with the open otter trapping season.
Section 2102(d) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the Commission to ''promulgate regulations stipulating the size and type of traps, the type of firearms and ammunition and other devices which may be used, the manner in which and the location where the devices may be used, the species the devices may be used for and the season when the devices may be used.'' The amendments to § 141.62 are proposed under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
This proposed rulemaking will amend § 141.62 to increase the number of authorized body gripping traps from 10 to 20 in any WMU where beaver bag limits are 60 per season.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to trap or take beavers in any WMU where beaver bag limits are 60 per season may be affected by this proposed rulemaking.
4. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
This proposed rulemaking should not result in any additional cost or paperwork.
5. Effective Date
This proposed rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
6. Contact Person
For further information regarding this proposed rulemaking, contact Jason L. DeCoskey, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
BRYAN J. BURHANS,
Fiscal Note: 48-447. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 141. HUNTING AND TRAPPING
Subchapter D. FURBEARERS
§ 141.62. Beaver and otter trapping.
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(b) Unlawful acts. It is unlawful to:
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(4) Set, tend or operate any number of traps or snares for beaver trapping in excess of the limits established by this paragraph.
(i) Beaver trappers are generally limited to a combined Statewide total of 20 traps or snares, no more than 10 of which may be traps. No more than 2 of the 10 traps may be body gripping traps, except [in]:
(A) In Wildlife Management Units where beaver bag limits are 40 [or more] per season, [where] all 10 traps may be body gripping traps.
(B) In Wildlife Management Units where beaver bag limits are 60 per season, all 20 traps or snares may be body gripping traps.
(ii) Beaver trappers are limited to using no more than five traps or snares, no more than two of which may be body-gripping traps, in any Wildlife Management Unit with an open otter trapping season. This limitation is inclusive of any otter traps or snares set under paragraph (7). This limitation is applicable during periods when the open beaver trapping season overlaps by calendar date with the open otter trapping season and shall extend for 5 additional consecutive days after the close of the otter season.
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[Pa.B. Doc. No. 20-328. Filed for public inspection March 6, 2020, 9:00 a.m.]
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